FOR JD 1992
Sorry for the delay. Incredibly, JA cancelled my account like two minutes after you answered my last question! They gave no explanation at all, but helped me open another account—took 4 hours. Anyway…
My issue with the car dealer is as follows:
I am shopping their website last week and an invitation to chat pops up. The name on the chat window is their Internet Sales manager. I engage in a chat with someone (different name) and I make an offer on a specific vehicle from the website including stock number and VIN. The offer is low and I label it as an out-the-door (OTD) price. As an incentive to them to accept a lower price, I assure them that I am a serious buyer and ready to come in right then and sign papers. The dealership replies, "Yes we can make u that deal" and then there is further chat about how soon I am coming in and whom to ask for etc. etc.
I know this comes as a shock to you, but upon arrival no one wants to talk about "Yes we can make you that deal!!" Instead, it's "We're going to do the best we can for you." Long story short, 5 hours later, we leave the dealership after really rough negotiations. We did sign a contract
at a higher price, which was still a decent deal, after they essentially turned somersaults trying to deflect us from the offer that had been made and accepted in writing. Both I and they have a copy of the chat transcript--there is no question that the interaction occurred or what words were used. They also tried to downplay the role of the employee
chatting with me--"Oh she's just a receptionist and there to bring people into the dealership. And she did her job because you’re here, right? Heh, heh!" (That's an actual quote.) They simply refused to budge on the issue. We left after midnight.
The following day, I wrote a lengthy email to the general manager with an executive summary at the top simply asking him to do the right thing and honor the agreed-upon price. No response.
Since then, we have completed the transaction and we have taken delivery of the car.
So, this is obviously fodder for bad reviews and the BBB
etc. But I'm wondering if there is any legal recourse here. The amount that I paid over and above the accepted offer is roughly $1800, which fits small claims
court. What precisely is the legal issue here, if any? Breach of (written) contract? I think it goes without saying that despite their attempts to disparage the chatting employee, she certainly had "apparent authority" to accept an offer since she was speaking for the dealership—not like I asked the lot boy or something. After they kept telling me how her job was merely to attract people to the dealership (in a subsequent email, her title
is listed as Business Development Manager) I get the feeling that it's a bit fraudulent if she did that by making unauthorized deals with online inquirers, but I suppose I'd be hard pressed to prove fraud in court!
What do you think?